Yesterday was a grand day for food in the world of Nicole. I apologize for the lack of pictures to attest to the following story but the moment didn’t allow for photos. I started off my day standing over my stove-top making Meyer lemon curd (recipe to come) and trying desperately to temper the eggs so that they don’t just scramble under the intense heat. I managed to succeed with that just in time to meet my friend Duncan who had agreed to introduce me properly to the Chinese grocery store around the corner from my apartment; a little dark shop that had intimidated me until yesterday.
I should explain that while I am a lover of foods, I am not well-versed in the ways of Asian cuisine. My understanding, at this point, is pretty run-of-the-mill with Canadian-Chinese food restaurants and sushi being basically the extent of it. But after yesterday, I am very intrigued.
Upon walking into this store, I was delighted. At the front counter was a women paying for a whole squid, something I had never seen available at the market I usually frequent. The produce section had a lot of the foods that I had thought were unavailable in Guelph like lemongrass and the tea section of the store made me actually squeal with delight.
“So much green tea! So much jasmine! Rose bud tea in giant bags?!”
I bought a lot of treasures some of them fairly normal (noodles, loose green tea, serving bowls) and others a little more exciting (salted duck eggs, gelatin rice balls with brown sugar filling) and then spent the rest of the afternoon wandering around outside in the early spring sun, sipping coffee for the first time in weeks, and eating an amazing Salsateria chicken quesadilla while I walked up the hill to work.
But come night, it was down to business. I chose my first two recipes to kick start my quest:
broccoli and pesto tagliatelle
The beans were nothing to write home about and I would have probably preferred to have steamed them and served them with a garlic balsamic sauce but the pasta was great.
Here is the recipe borrowed from Jamie’s Food Revolution
BROCCOLI AND PESTO TAGLIATELLE
1 med. potato
1 head broccoli
a large bunch of fresh basil
1 lb. dried tagliatelle
1/4 cup green pesto
3 ounces Parmesan cheese
To prepare your pasta:
Wash and peel the potato and cut it into very thin shavings using a speed peeler. Slice the end off the broccoli stalk. Cut little broccoli florets off the head and put them to one side. Halve the thick stalk length ways, then slice thinly. Pick the basil leaves and discard the stalks. Grate the Parmesan.
To cook your pasta:
Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Add the tagliatelle and broccoli stalks and cook according to the tagliatelle package instructions. 2 minutes before the tagliatelle is cooked, add the broccoli florets and potato slices. Drain everything in a colander over a large bowl, reserving some of the cooking water, and return to the pan. Roughly chop half your basil leaves and add to the pan with the pesto and half the Parmesan. Give it all a good serve and if the sauce is too thick for you, add a splash of cooking water to thin it out a bit.
To serve your pasta:
Divide the pasta between your serving bowls. Sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan and the remaining basil leaves. Serve with a lovely big bowl of salad.
And make sure you have a bottle of chilled white wine ready to drink with your meal.